Drei Farben - Rot


“Red appears in nearly all my works. I use it in a wide variety of hues, sometimes lighter, sometimes darker, though usually as a brilliant signal red. In my work women wear sometimes red, a red skirt, a red cap, or have red nipples or red lips, the wooden dowels I use to fix my figures to their bases have red ends and the sheep in the work I´ m showing at Rohkunstbau have big, thick red udders.

For one thing, when I use red I´ m giving the work a kind of protection. Red symbolises available energy, sexual energy, but it also represents the ability to defend oneself. It signals the existence of a border that shouldn’t be crossed – crossing it would be equivalent to an invasion. At the same time, the colour is an enticement to the viewer to get involved in the picture, to get close up, even closer, yet it´s an invitation that also unequivocally voices a warning.

It´s just the same with the people opposite you. The nearer you manage to get them, cautiously approaching the other´s borders, the closer you are to them, but if you cross those borders you become infinitely distant; if you manage to move next to each other carefully along the border, that is- I believe- what we call “ bound together in brotherliness”. It´s a higher, desirable, incomparable moment but also a balancing act. One step away from a deep precipice, from disappointment, hatred, loneliness and struggle.

In that sense, the red in my works seems to be a very ambivalent invitation…”

Britta Jonas

Translation: Andrew Boreham